In our introduction to this topic, we discussed the need to create a figurative wall between your home offices and our home lives. Securing your work devices and maintaining discipline is essential to maintaining this wall.
As you settle into your work-from-home routine, you run the risk of getting too cozy with your devices. Be it from a few personal Google searches, or from a quick an online order, you can easily fall into bad habits. You may even expose yourself to risk by trying to troubleshoot a problem from home, leaving an opening for malware and data theft.
One way to combat these hazards is to list and lock your work tools. This is an easy way to create a basic layer of protection for your data as well as reinforcing the wall of separation we previously discussed.
Your first step is to list your work tools. These can fall into categories including:
- Devices: Laptops, storage devices, or any other hardware you use to complete your tasks
- Software: The company-approved software on your devices
- Notes: Any physical notes you take during your workday
Make an account of everything your company has given you to do your work and categorize it appropriately. If you need to make any additions to this list, discuss it with your supervisor and, if necessary, your IT administrator. This will give your workplace a clearer picture of what devices will be used to access its data. It will also prevent you from hastily downloading unapproved software that can threaten your security.
Devices and files that contain sensitive information should be locked away and the end of your workday. A locking drawer or computer/document bag can deter curious people, so consistently pack away your materials.
A lock alone will not deter more malicious actors, so make sure you are keeping any portable storage units in a secure area of your home. A dedicated home office or a private, personal area within your home are ideal.
The locking principle extends to your devices as well. Ensure your screens are locked when you are away and that your account is password protected.
Once you have your routine established, stick to it. Cybersecurity relies on diligence and good habits.